Link, the retail arm of RJ Kiln, is looking to reduce cover on shops, including fast food restaurants, by 20% over the next three years.

Speaking at Link's roadshow last week, commercial underwriting manager Darrell Drake described insurance losses on take-aways and restaurants as a “haemorrhage”.

Insurance for shops accounts for 30% to 35% of Link's business. Less than 10% comes from office cover and the rest originates from combined commercial deals.

“We have lost a fortune on shops as there are a lot of slip-and-trip claims which soon add up,” Drake said.

“We have reached a stage where reinsurers are a bit fed up with it. In reviewing our programme, we will not write fast food and take-away businesses.

“The bottom line is that shop inquiries will probably not be handled with a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Over the next three years, Link is hoping to reduce its shop cover to between 10% and 15% of its business, while raising offices to 15% to 20% and combined commercial lines up to 70%.

The ownership of Link was also discussed in the meeting of its staff, Kiln underwriters, HSBC sponsors and high street brokers.

Group marketing manager of Kiln, Tim Cadel, said: “By the end of the year ownership of Link will change.

“But we have every intention of it being there in the future. The main aim is to secure its future independence.”

Drake said a management buy-out was one of the “favoured” options but promised “it is business as usual”.

He added that Link was on target to make record profits. Last year it had a premium income of £2.8m gross, and nine months ago it planned to raise profits to £5m within three years.

But he said if business progressed in a similar vein, Link could make between £5.5m and £6m by the end of the year.

Link was established in 1972 and employs 200 staff in its Maidstone offices.

It writes mainly motor insurance, but also provides cover for household, commercial and accident and health policies.